Once again, Sony Interactive Entertainment has made a surprise announcement about the next generation of virtual reality on PlayStation 5. This time the company has shown and detailed what the controller will look like, promising “even greater immersion thanks to adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, haptic sensing and more”. This information comes after details about the viewfinder, which we haven’t seen yet.
“The new VR controller has been created to fulfil our mission for a deeper sense of presence and a greater sense of immersion in VR experiences,” explains Hideaki Nishino, head of PlayStation’s platform planning and management team. “It will build on the innovations of the DualSense wireless controller, which has changed the way we ‘feel’ games on PS5 by bringing a new way to harness the sense of touch. Now we’re going to bring that innovation to VR gaming.”
Design-wise, the controller is notable for not restricting hand movement and its spherical shape, which Nishino says will allow it to be held “in a natural way while playing” while “providing great freedom”. In terms of features, there are some inherited from the PS5’s DualSense controller “that reflect our vision of what next-gen VR gaming can offer,” Sony said. These are as follows:
- Adaptive triggers: each VR controller (left and right) includes an adaptive trigger that offers palpable tension when you press it.
- Haptic feedback: will make every in-game sensation more impactful, textured and nuanced.
- Tactile sensing: The controller can detect your fingers without the need to press on the areas where you place your thumb, forefinger or heart.
- Tracking: The new VR viewfinder follows the VR controller thanks to a tracking ring on the bottom of the controller.
- Action buttons/analogue joysticks:
- The left controller features an analogue joystick, square and triangle buttons, a grab button (L1), a trigger (L2) and the create button.
- The right controller has an analogue joystick, the circle and cross buttons, a ‘grab’ button (R1), a trigger (R2) and the options button.
“SIE’s product, engineering and design teams have collaborated to create the new VR controller from the ground up with the goal of making a big leap from the current generation VR gaming experience,” says Nishino. “We’re very happy with the controller we’ve developed, but what matters now is how game developers will leverage its features to design the next generation of VR experiences.”
“Very soon” the developer community will start receiving prototypes of the new PS5 VR controller. Now all that’s left is for Sony to give us a third surprise by showing us what the viewer, which will connect with a single cable and won’t arrive this year, will look like.